Where will the US be in ten years
US climate neutral in ten years?
The CO2-The world's emissions must be halved in the next twelve years so that there is still a chance of stopping global warming at 1.5 degrees. This is what it says in the special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the 1.5 degree target of the Paris Agreement. At the same time, wages in the USA have stagnated since 1970 and income inequality has returned to the level of 1920.
Two Democratic Party politicians now want to solve these two problems at the same time. They are based on the "New Deal" reform program of the former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After the Great Depression in the 1930s, this combined economic and social reforms as well as investments in infrastructure to help the US economy get back on its feet.
Now MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey want to tackle the climate crisis and social inequality at the same time - with a "Green New Deal". This envisages reducing US greenhouse gas emissions to net zero within ten years of being passed and creating millions of new jobs.
Ocasio-Cortez and Markey are calling for nothing less than "new national, social, industrial and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era".
Julian Noisecat of the climate organization 350.org welcomes the combination of climate and jobs: "Climate policy has long been viewed from a perspective of scarcity and renunciation. What makes the Green New Deal so powerful is that it offers a new perspective: We can Creating millions of jobs and doing phenomenal things for ordinary people through climate policy. "
Apparently, many Americans can also get used to this: A survey in December showed that 81 percent are in favor of a "Green New Deal" and only 18 percent are against it. At the time, however, very few people knew that it was a Democratic initiative. As soon as voters of the Republican Party of US President Donald Trump become aware of this, the approval rate could therefore fall. But it doesn't have to: Another poll found that 69 percent of Americans are at least "a little concerned" about climate change.
For the time being, however, it is almost impossible for the "Green New Deal" to become law. The Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives, but not in the Senate. Trump could also veto the law.
It is also still unclear what the plan will cost and how it will be financed. Ocasio-Cortez only explains that the US Federal Reserve can issue "loans" and that a combination of different taxes - CO2- and wealth taxes - are used.
"All candidates must support the Green New Deal"
It is also controversial whether the goals, for example in the electricity sector, are realistic. The year before last, 17 percent of US electricity came from renewable sources and 20 percent from nuclear power plants. A goal of 100 percent CO2-free electricity within a decade is therefore very ambitious.
Furthermore, there is no consensus on nuclear power among the supporters of the "Green New Deal". Ocasio-Cortez wants to abolish it, but Markey doesn't. The goal of renovating "all buildings" in ten years in order to achieve "maximum energy efficiency" is also a challenge. There are also some social promises that are not easy to keep. For example, all Americans should have a legal right to a job that pays well enough to support a family.
For many supporters of the Green New Deal, it is not about its immediate implementation, but rather about the candidate selection of the Democrats for the US presidential elections in 2020. Meanwhile, 13 Democrats have announced that they will run in the party's primary elections.
"Since several of the candidates for 2020 say that they support the Green New Deal, our movement defines what that means," says Waleed Shahid of Justice Democrats. "We make sure that these candidates work for a mobilization of our economy like in the Second World War."
The Green New Deal serves as a "litmus test," says Stephen O'Hanlon, spokesman for the youth movement Sunrise Movement. "All 2020 candidates need to know that if they want to be taken seriously by young people, they have to support the Green New Deal."
With this, Ocasio-Cortez and Markey have achieved a lot in a short period of time. Ocasio-Cortez bureau chief Saikat Chakrabarti said, "We thought it would take a year to build a movement around the Green New Deal," but it only took a few weeks. "
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